Anger over a Russian election marred by widespread violations and the shadow of Vladimir Putin’s likely return to the presidency broke into violence late on Monday, as thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow in protest.
Several thousand people, mainly young men, filled a park in central Moscow to listen to liberal opposition leaders call for Putin’s ousting in a meeting approved by city authorities. But when they attempted to march to Lubyanka, the headquarters of the feared Federal Security Service, they were met by baton-wielding riot police who beat some protesters over the head and dragged others into waiting lorries.
Hundreds appeared to be detained, including opposition leaders Alexey Navalny and Ilya Yashin, as well as several journalists. Police put the number of protesters at 2,000 but some Russian media said the number was as high as 8,000.